Rocket Launch Pad

I was wondering if i could build a lanuch pad for a model rocket, or if when it was launching, it would melt any of the components on the system? I am not quite sure because when lanuching them regular, the wires that clip to the engine are rubber coated and they seamed to be fine, but i do not want to put my $150 system on the line if there is a risk of it being melted.:slight_smile:

I would have a metal plate on the bottom and have two wires connected to the system so i could launch it from the remote.
Would this work?

I was also wondering… When lighting the engine, it creates a short circuit and lights a “flint type wire” that glows red hot, will this damage my VEX system in any way?

Nio it wont,
I have a rocket lancher on my bot it shoots out of a cradboard tube. it set off to the side. And it is mounted with platic.


Do you have a picture of your model so i can see what you are talking about because i am a little confused about your design. I already have a design if you say that the system will be fine, but i just want to see how you did it if you have any pictures.:smiley:

I dont have pick with me now. But basically it is a cardboard tube that the rocket sits in at a angle. The tube is set off to the side so the flames only hit the dirt. The tube is posted on two metal poles of to the of them.
There is a plasctic prong on the back of the tube to keep the rocket from falling out. two wire igniters are contected to a remote battery which is seperte from the robot but is attched to it. then i press the button and the rocket shoots out in the air for a good 5 secound and explodes on contact with a hard surface.but the explosin is so small it dosnt hurt ur skin but if u get hit with the rocket u could get the wind knocked out of u.

My design was to have the rocket aimed directly up mounted on the launch rod that comes with the rocket to launch it. I was going to have that somehow mounted to the robot and have it launch off of that, with the solid metal disk below it. and rig up something out of a jumper and some spare wires that i will plug into a motor poet, and when i press a button on ch.6, it puts power to those wires which i will have clips on and attached to the two ignition wires coming out of the engine.

Will this design damage any of my metal hardware? I don’t really care about the wire because it is just going to be a small wire that i rig up that will be atached to the system, so i wont have a separate battery for it.:smiley:

unless you use a speed controller or similar dievice or a bread board and circut work you can’t hook up rocket igniters directly to the micro controller

when i built one i ripped up a smaller remote control car that just used on/off channels and took the motor off and used igniters instead of the motor (it was an entirly seperate unit) it also had tin armor around it to protect the components

The ignition that i am using, when electricity it put to it, the flint that goes into the engine glows red hot. So what i was thinking was use the same connections that go to the motors, and use the electricity that they put out when pressing on a button on ch 5 so it takes that electricity and uses that to ignite the engine.:cool:

I know what my design is going to be and i know that the ignition ids going to work. I just need to know if doing this will damage any of my metal pieces, melt, char, etc.

Im actually in the process or building the ignition right now. When i finish ill tell u if it works.

To ignite my rocket i use a modle rocket kit. i also have it so it hits a target not straight up.

You’re going to break your microcontroller. It can’t source that much current- I know you think it will work but the output signals don’t work how you think they do. The motors Always have power, it’s the signal line that changes. Each motor is self-contained as far as power adjustment goes, it’s a digital signal (NOT an analog) coming from the controller. Hook it up one way, your rocket will fire right when you turn it on. Hook it up another way, it will maybe fire on power-up, very likely break your robot. Hook it up the third way really nothing will happen. Notice in here nothing is said about the contoller- when I say power-up I mean flip the switch on the base, not the transmitter button.

Now if you had it on a separate isolated circuit, it would work. The rocket exhaust shouldn’t harm your VEX parts, but it would probably hurt anything non-structural, like wheels, receiver, etc.

heres my rocket launcher :smiley:

Dude that is beautiful. Awsome maybe u can put it at a less angle. Anouther this put the turning pad up more and bring the rockets closer. the flames will not hit the robot after 4inch so put it up 5-6 less angle rockets closer together and bam the is on man eating machine. It would look sick.

p.s. how do i put pics on i want to send u a pic

I would go to a store and buy some plate metal doesn’t have to be thick, and place it under the rocket and try and angle the plate so it will direct the exhaust away from the robot components.

Well then… I wish i had gotten this piece of information before i tried it. I built it, tried it, and had a shower of sparks. Luckily my micro controller survived it. And now i am all out of ideas… back to the drawing board… which i where i should have started… but instead i thought id wing it and build what i thought would work… but that obviously didn’t work… so now i gotta make it work.

I have scrap metal so it is not the matter of that anymore, but now i need a new idea for launching from the same remote. Me new idea, was to attach a wire to the servo motor, and when i press a button on Ch. 5 of the remote, the wire is moved down and touches the 9v battery i will have mounted, and when i release the button, the servo motor will center itself and remove the wire from the 9v battery.

I was also planing on getting Tank Treads and using those instead of wheels, would the engine exhaust have any affect on those once i have the angled board in place? I am going to mount the board so towards the front, the board is high, and at the back i am going to have it hang off a bit so it is a few cm of the ground.

I launched a rocked that was similar to dreads, (the big one) and the thin metal plate that came with it MELTED!!!
the rocket didn’t get so much ignition, I suggest a 1/2 in. plate.

the plate that comes with it is cheap unless ur gonna use a little rocket like on mine

So this is what i have done so far…


The Red wire is the positive feed to the fuse.
The Black wire is the negative feed to the fuse.
The White wire is ground on the metal platform.

And the Razor Blade under to it, hurts very much.

Would this work? The wire are going to come pout and when the servo motor turns, it will connect one of the wires to the the 9v and ignite the engine.:D](

A 1/2 in plate?! Do you know how much that would weigh and cost also thats extremely overboard for any model rocket. All you should need at the most is 1/4 in and thats even pushing it. You don’t have the engine directly above the plate , the plate is just to direct the exhaust away from touchy stuff. The plate should be 2-3 in from the end of the engine.

I’d try 1/8 TOPS. 1/4 is overkill, and 1/2 is WAY high, not to mention expensive if you don’t know where to shop.

Sorry to hear about the malfuncition there! The separate, isolated servo-powered circuit is the way to go. You could even get a switch from radio shack you could use instead of just wires. I’d go for a lever or roller-lever switch- they look like smaller versions of the official VEX limit switches.

Sorry, slight miscalculation!

Just use sheet metal, like 0.040" or 0.060" thickness. Sears Hardware, Home Depot, Lowes should all sell steel sheet metal. It’s a lot easier to use a pair of tin-snips to cut sheet metal than it is to cut through steel plate with a hacksaw, bandsaw, etc.

If you really want a good idea, make a pan/tilt mechanism with a Estes model rocket stand on top of it. This way, when the pesky wind changes direction on you right before you hit the fire button, you can use your Vex controller to re-aim the launch angle to save you having to disconnect the power to check the model rocket.

As a final word of advise, always be safe with what you are doing. :slight_smile: